Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, MSN, RN
A number of years ago, while making house calls as a nurse practitioner to homebound, low-income elderly patients in West Baltimore, Sarah Szanton noticed that their environmental challenges were often as pressing as their health challenges. Since then she has developed a program of research at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing on the role of the environment and stressors in health disparities in older adults, particularly those trying to “age in place” or stay out of a nursing home. The result is a program called CAPABLE, which combines handyman services with nursing and occupational therapy to improve mobility, reduce disability, and decrease healthcare costs. She has tested the program's effectiveness through grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Innovations Office at the Center on Medicaid and Medicare Services. She has major funding from the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation to build infrastructure for the CAPABLE program. She has also conducting a study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, of whether food and energy assistance improve health outcomes for low-income older adults. A former health policy advocate, Dr. Szanton aims her research and publications toward changing policy for older adults and their families.
Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.
Szanton, S.L., Xue, Q., Leff, B., Guralnik, J., Wolff, J.L., Tanner, E.K., Boyd, C.M., Thorpe, R.J., Bishai, D., Gitlin, L.N., (2019). Reducing Disability Through a Bio-Behavioral Environmental Approach: Results from a Randomized Clinical Trial. (Epub ahead of print.) JAMA Internal Medicine. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.6026
Szanton, S.L., Clemson, L., Liu, M., Gitlin, L. N., Hladek, M. D., LaFave, S. E., Roth, D. L., Marx, K. A., Felix, C., Okoye, S. M., Zhang, X., Bautista, S., Granbom, M. (2020). Pilot Outcomes of a Multicomponent Fall Risk Program Integrated Into Daily Lives of Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi: 1177/0733464820912664
*Szanton, S.L., Alfonso, N., Leff, B.A. Guralnik, J., Wolff, J.L., Stockwell, I., Gitlin, L.N., Bishai, D. (2017). Medicaid Cost Savings of CAPABLE, a Person-directed Program for Low-income Older Adults with Disability. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15143
*Szanton, S.L., Samuel. L.J., Cahill, R., Zielinskie, G. Wolff, J.L., Thorpe, R.J. Jr., Betley (2017). Food Assistance Is Associated with Decreased Nursing Home Admissions for Maryland’s Dually Eligible Older Adults. BMC Geriatrics.
Samuel. L.J., Szanton, S.L., Cahill, R., Zielinskie, G. Wolff, J.L., Jr., Betley (2017). Food Assistance Is Associated with Decreased Hospitalizations for Maryland’s Dually Eligible Older Adults. Population Health.
2019 Human Condition, Heinz Foundation
2019 Sigma Theta Tau, International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame
2017 Edgerunner Award, American Academy of Nursing
2016 Senior Service America Senior Scholar Award for Research Related to Disadvantaged Older Adults—Gerontological Society of America and Senior Service America, Inc.
2016 Top 50 “Influencers in Aging”—Next Avenue
2015 Baltimore Business Journal Health Care Innovator award
2015 Fellow, Gerontological Society of America
2015 Visiting Fellow, University of Sydney, Australia, June 28-July 5, 2015
2015 Emerging Edgerunner Award—American Academy of Nursing
2014 Co-recipient of Protégé Award—Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research